Award winning architect chosen to design pool
Zaha Haid, , rated among the world's leading architects, has designed the 20,000-seat venue that will stage the aquatics events and is set to become one of the London Olympics most iconic venues.
The winning design, which will form part of London's Olympic Park in Carpenters Road, Stratford, has a spectacular, sinuous S-shaped roof inspired by the flow of water prevalent on the building's riverside location, that is certain to make it a London landmark.
The space inside the building will include two 50-metre swimming pools and a competition diving pool.
The design will especially appeal to swimmers during the Games because each pool has an arena around it for spectators, creating a unique atmosphere.
"The interior design of the new aquatic centre is fantastic," said Grant Hackett, Australia's double Olympic gold medallist, at the time the plans were unveiled.
"I was impressed by the outside visuals but these new images are great - each competition pool has a spectator arena around it, which means there will be a great atmosphere for the events. As an athlete I know just how important this is."
After the Games, the centre design can be converted, with the pools dividing into different spaces, making it easy for community and elite swimmers of different abilities to use. The centre will also have an extensive health and fitness area to contribute to the long-term viability of the building.
Hadid was winner of the prestigious Laureate for the Pritzker Architects Prize 2004 and won a competition to design the pool organised by the London Development Agency, the Mayor's agency for business, jobs and regeneration.
She is already working with engineering experts Ove Arup and Partners and top swimming pool architects S & P to turn his plans into reality.
The pool was due to be built whether London's bid was successful or not. But now it has been, Hadid's innovative plans will be showcased before the global audience they deserve.
"This is an outstanding design that will create a spectacular building, delivering the essential 'wow' factor for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games," said Keith Mills, the chief executive during London's successful bid.
"It will then be cleverly transformed following the Games by taking away the majority of the 20,000 seats, which will not be needed, turning it into more intimate spaces suitable for community use. It gives the community a lasting sporting legacy."
Lord Patrick Carter, the chairman of Sport England and co-chair of the panel which chose the design, said: "We have chosen a design which will not only create a state-of-the-art environment for Olympic swimmers but will also provide a lasting legacy for swimming in London.
"The centre will have the ability to be used by elite swimmers, local clubs, universities, schools and most importantly of all, the local community."
Lord Rogers, of the Richard Rogers Partnership, who co-chaired the Panel that chose the design, said: "This building has an exceptional sculptural quality that will make it a wonderful building to visit, attracting people to East London. It sets the standard for architectural quality in this key regeneration area.'"